England's Bradley Moore led the qualifiers after the second round of the 2015 Boys Amateur Championship at Royal Birkdale and Southport & Ainsdale golf clubs today.
The 17-year-old from Kedleston Park followed up an opening seven-under-par 65 at Southport & Ainsdale with a one-over-par round of 72 at Royal Birkdale to lead the qualifiers for the match play stages of the 89th staging of the championship.
The England boys' international finished three shots clear of Scots Calum Fyfe and Murray Naysmith and Denmark's Christoffer Bring.
Moore, who just missed out on a top 20 finish at last week's European Amateur Championship in Slovakia, got off to an eventful start at Royal Birkdale with a birdie on the 2nd cancelling out a dropped shot at the 1st before a double-bogey at the 3rd looked as if it could prove costly. The Carris Trophy winner bounced back with birdies at the 6th and the par three 7th, where his seven-iron tee shot finished a foot from the hole, and could afford another dropped shot at the 13th.
"I wasn't really thinking about my score today, I was just trying to play solidly. I knew there wouldn't be any panic if I shot a couple over," said Moore.
"On the back nine the putter went a bit cold really and I didn't really hole much. I had plenty of chances including a five-footer for birdie on 17 that I missed and I three-putted on 15. It was a bit frustrating but all you've got to do is qualify and that's what I've done.
"I think tomorrow I will get the driver out a little bit more on the front nine. You can attack a bit more in match play because at the end of the day if you hit a bad shot you're only going to lose a hole. I'll probably be slightly more aggressive but you've got to respect this golf course and just play your opponent. It's anyone's game now."
Fresh from being part of the winning Scottish team at last week's Boys Home Internationals at Conwy (Caernarvonshire), Fyfe, from Cawder, who jointly led the qualifiers in last year's Boys Amateur Championship at Prestwick and Dundonald Links, recovered from three dropped shots in his first four holes to notch up an impressive seven birdies at Royal Birkdale on his way to a four-under-par 67.
"I played really good, just solid, and stuck to the game plan of hitting fairways and greens and not getting sucked into pins and missing it on the wrong side," said Fyfe. "I'm feeling confident going into tomorrow and I'm going to play my own game. It's a tough course but if you can play it off the short stuff it's ok, you just need to find it.
"It would mean a lot to me to win here. I have practised really hard for this and put in a lot of hours, so it would be really good."
Fyfe's Scotland team mate Naysmith, from Marriott Dalmahoy, mixed three bogeys with five birdies on his way to a two-under-par 69 at Royal Birkdale. That round was matched by the 16-year-old Dane Bring, who was the leading overseas player after carding a three-under-par 69 at Southport & Ainsdale to finish on three-under-par.
South Africa's Keegan De Lange finished one shot further back after a level-par 72 at Southport & Ainsdale, the same second round score as Irish boys international Thomas Mulligan who finished on one-under-par.
The cut fell on six-over-par. Among those to miss out on the match play stages were Alex Fitzpatrick, younger brother of European Tour player and 2012 Boys Amateur champion Matthew Fitzpatrick, on eight-over-par, Ireland's Rory Williamson and Conor Purcell, who both finished tied fourth at the Irish Boys Amateur Open Championship in June, and England boys international Charlie Strickland.
The match play stage gets underway at 7.30am tomorrow at Royal Birkdale. Admission and parking is free. For the match play draw and scoring please click here.